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EACC expands probe into Sh3.2 billion Ruaraka land

By Moses Nyamori | May 4th 2018
Lands CS Faridah Karoney (left) receives a report on examination into the systems, policies, procedures and practices of the Ministry of Lands and Physical Planning from Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Chairman Arch Bishop Dr. Eliud Wabukala (centre) in Nairobi. [David Njaaga/Standard]

The anti-graft agency has widened its probe into the Sh3.2 billion Ruaraka school land saga.

The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) has now roped in the Sh4.8 billion compensation for Outer Ring Road and General Service Unit (GSU).

The commission yesterday told Parliament that it was investigating whether the survey map for the GSU land was altered to overpay Afrison Import Export Ltd and Huelands Ltd in the deal in which the firms have since been paid Sh2.4 billion.

The agency is further probing whether the Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) paid the landowner Sh1.4 billion for land that had already been paid for by GSU.

The fresh details emerged yesterday, when EACC Commissioner Rose Mghoi Macharia and Director of Investigation Abdi Mohammed appeared before the National Assembly Land Committee chaired by Kitui South MP Rachael Nyamai.

The commission has also stopped the National Land Commission (NLC) from paying the firms an additional Sh1.7 billion as part of Sh3.2 billion compensation for the land on which Ruaraka Secondary and Drive in Primary schools sit.

The land commission has since paid Sh1.5 billion for the land.

“The Kenya Urban Roads Authority (Kura) through the National Land Commission (NLC) has so far made payments of Sh1.4 billion to Afrison Import Export and Heulands Ltd, the proprietors of LR 7879/4. The proprietors are currently seeking a further compensation of Sh2.182 billion,” said the commission in a document tabled before the committee.

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In the acquisition of houses by the Ministry of Interior and Co-ordination of National Government for use by GSU officers, the agency is probing suspected over-payment to the two firms.

The Government has paid Sh2.4 billion for the 36 acres but the title has not been issued or any entries for Government interest made on the title deed.

Enough information

The MPs expressed their disappointment with the EACC officials, accusing them of not making enough information available about progress made in the probe so far and dragging their feet.

“It is worrying that you started investigating this matter when the money had not yet been wired to the landowner but did nothing to stop the payments,” said Ms Nyamai.

The officials defended themselves, saying they did not want to jeopardise investigations by revealing too much and that they needed time to build a watertight case.

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